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8.3.2. Using the MIDI Matrix Editor's Tools

Qtractor's matrix editor for MIDI clips offers a collection of useful tools, available from the "Tools" menu in the matrix editor window. These tools only operate on MIDI notes selected in the matrix editor window before the tool window is opened. Regardless of which tool you select from the menu, the same options are available to you each time the window is opened. It is possible to use multiple tools at a time.
Be careful: the names of the tools may be misleading.
Here is an explanation of what the tools do:
  • Quantize: This tool can be used to regulate how often MIDI notes are allowed to begin, and how long they are allowed to last. They are marked in divisions of a beat.
    • Time: The default setting, "Beat/4" will allow notes to begin only on every sixteenth note subdivision. If a note begins somewhere else, it will be moved to the nearest sixteenth note subdivision. For example, a note that begins on the first 32nd note of a measure would be moved to begin on the first beat instead.
    • Duration: The default setting, "Beat/2" will allow notes to last only in multiples of eighth notes. If a note lasts for shorter or longer than an eighth note multiple, it will be adjusted to the closest duration that is an eighth note multiple. For example, a sixteenth note would be adjusted to an eighth note.
    • Swing: This regularizes a "swing" effect on the rhythm. You will have to experiment with the settings to find one that works for you.
    • Common settings, described in simple meter where a quarter note gets the beat:
      • Beat : quarter-note duration
      • Beat/2 : eighth-note duration
      • Beat/3 : eighth-note triplet duration
      • Beat/4 : sixteenth-note duration
      • Beat/6 : sixteenth-note sextuplet duration
      • Beat/8 : thirty-second note duration
  • Transpose: This tool adjusts either the pitch (vertical axis) or the time (horizontal axis) of the selected MIDI notes.
    • Pitch: Transposes the notes by this many semitones. Positive values transpose to a higher pitch-level, while negative values transpose to a lower pitch-level.
    • Time: Adjusts the starting time of MIDI notes, without affecting duration or pitch. This is most usefully measured as "BBT" (meaning "Bars, Beats, and Ticks" - each is separated by a decimal point), but can also be measured as time or frames.
  • Normalize: This adjusts the loudness of the selected MIDI notes, called "velocity." There are three ways to use the tool. The value specified in the "MIDI Tools" window is used as the highest allowable velocity; all other velocity values are adjusted proportionally.
    • Adjust "Percent" only: This allows you to set the velocity to a percentage of the maximum velocity.
    • Adjust "Value" only: This allows you to supply a specific value for the velocity. Possible values range from 0 to 127.
    • Adjust "Percent" and "Value" together: This allows you to specify a percentage of the indicated value. If you set "50%" and "32," for example, the resulting velocity will be "16," which is 50% of 32.
  • Randomize: This tool adjusts the selected parameters to pseudo-random values. The values are only pseudo-random for two reasons: computers cannot produce truly random numbers, only numbers that seem random to humans; the percentage value allows you to specify how widely-varied the results will be. A lower percentage setting will result in MIDI notes that are more similar to the pre-randomized state than if the MIDI notes were randomized with a higher percentage setting. The following parameters can be randomized:
    • Note, which means pitch.
    • Time, which means the time of the beginning of the note.
    • Duration, which means duration.
    • Value, which means loudness (velocity).
  • Resize: This tool allows you to explicitly specify the duration or velocity of some MIDI notes. Setting the "Value" field will set the velocity (loudness) of all selected notes to that setting. Valid settings are from 0 (quietest) to 127 (loudest). Setting the "Duration" field will set the duration (length) of all selected notes to that setting. Duration is most usefully measured as "BBT" (meaning "Bars, Beats, and Ticks" - each is separated by a decimal point), but can also be measured as time or frames.